Tag Archives: 15 Minutes

How To Set Realistic Running Goals

One reason why many aspiring runners never actualise their running goals is they set themselves unrealistic running goals. Saying I want to finish a 42K marathon in under 3 hours when you have never finished a marathon before is setting yourself up for disappointment.

Set small goals that are concrete, attainable, realistic.

Decide to go three miles, regardless how many times you walk, how many you run. Or go out for 15 minutes. Or set one lap around the block as your starting goal.

Set a Time Limit

Set dates for achieving your running goals. Do your first 5K in six months; your first marathon next year. This will prevent you from the curse of procrastination.

Set an Incentive

Make running a means to a higher purpose. Is it losing weight? Fitting into your wedding dress? Running a Full Under 4 hours? Set a goal, and suddenly you have incentive.

Now got out and run!

10 weeks training plan , 12 weeks marathon training plan

A friend of mine is planning to train for his first marathon and he just sent the following 12 step marathon training planning. I don’t know where he got it from but it has a feel of Jeff Galloway, a man who has evangelized on the merits of run walk method for running a marathon.

Step 1

Plan to exercise four days a week for 10 weeks.

Step 2

Begin each session with 10 to 15 minutes of stretching, and end each session with a 10-minute walk followed by more stretching.

Step 3

Take on week one. Walk 10 minutes. Jog 2 to 3 minutes. Walk 4 minutes. Repeat five times each session.

Step 4

Get into it with week two. Walk 10 minutes. Jog 3 minutes. Walk 3 minutes. Repeat five times each session.

Step 5

Settle into week three. Walk 5 to 10 minutes. Jog 5 minutes. Walk 2 minutes. Repeat four times each session.

Step 6

Keep it going into week four. Walk 5 minutes. Run 7 minutes. Walk 3 minutes. Repeat three times each session.

Step 7

Stay on a roll in week five. Walk 5 minutes. Run 8 minutes. Walk 2 minutes. Repeat three times each session.

Step 8

Pat yourself on the back for being halfway there as you enter week six. Walk 3 to 5 minutes. Run 9 minutes. Walk 2 minutes. Repeat three times each session.

Step 9

Recognize your growing stamina in week seven. Walk 3 to 5 minutes. Run 9 minutes. Walk 1 minute. Repeat three times each session.

Step 10

Feel good about yourself as you confront week eight. Walk 3 to 5 minutes. Run 13 minutes. Walk 2 minutes. Repeat twice each session.

Step 11

Visualize the end of your first goal as you begin week nine. Walk 3 minutes. Run 14 minutes. Walk 1 minute. Do this twice each session.

Step 12

Congratulate yourself for your accomplishment in week 10. Walk 3 minutes. Run 30 minutes without stopping.

Race Report : 2009 Stanchart Marathon Results

2009 Standard Chartered Nairobi Marathon. I finished in a time of 2:57:29, one minute slower than 2008…..a rather disappointing race.

Pre Race

I travelled from Embu to Nairobi on Saturday. When I arrived in the city I realised I had forgotten my racing short back home and I had to buy a new short. Luckily I had arrived early and I had time to go shopping and buy a new Reebok short.

A friend of mine was working at the marathon secretariat and he invited me to the offices. The lifts at the building were not working and I was forced to walk up nine floors.(what a waste of my energy)

Instead of staying in a hotel I stayed at the home of my childhood friend Alex who lives a walking distance from Nyayo Stadium, the start and finish area of the marathon. Alex and his girlfriend Miriam were running the half marathon.

The Race

The first kilometres were fast. I had trained to run at a pace of 4 minutes a Kilometre. I had hoped to see a 5K mark and calculate whether I was within my pace but I never saw any markings of distance. In the runners guide it was indicated there would be markings every 5K but this was lacking on the course.  SHAME ON THE ORGANISERS! Without markings I just followed the fast moving crowd and made my own mental estimates.

As usual my breathing was hard at the start but I knew things would get better and easier the longer I kept running. After 1 hour of running my breathing never got easier, I guese I was running faster than my planned pace. After 1 hour 15 minutes we hooked up with the half marathon crowd and the course now got more crowded. I found myself weaving from side to side trying to overtake the half marathon runners.

I got back at Nyayo stadium at 1 hour 35 minutes, at this point the half marathon runners headed towards the finish line while the full marathon runners were supposed to repeat the circuit. After parting with the half marathon crowd, I looked ahead of me and shocked to see an almost empty road, it was clear many of full marathon runners had decided to drop out of the race at that point. The idea of repeating the circuit was too bitter to swallow for many runners!

Doing the second circuit was hard because I was running alone. It is at this point when it started raining and I remember at one time I thought………this sucks am done with marathons!……… Although my legs were feeling fine my chest was having a harder time. Make no mistake, I wanted to go faster…I would look at my watch and say ok legs, lets speeeeedup! and I would think I was going faster, but then I would check the watch a little while later and, nope, no faster!

After 2 hours and 10 minutes of running I got at the final turning point and I was now on the home stretch. At this point I could feel the smell of fresh bread from a bakery on the route. The smell of bread induced a feeling of hunger. I started having this imagination of eat a post race meat pie. I guese I was getting delusional!

As the clock hit 2.40, the finish line was out of sight and it was clear my goal of 2.45 finish was way way out of reach. My target now was to atleast match my PB.At this point I met up with Miriam, my friend’s Girlfriend. The half marathon was proving too hard for her to handle. As I overtook her she tried to run after me begging me to wait for her……….I just couldn’t…nothing personal!

Luckily for me a determined young lady who had an elite badge on her chest caught up with me at this point. I chased her tooth and nail. Although it was physically hard on me she kept me on my toes. She was my white knight, she pulled me to the end. We crossed the finish line together at 2 hours 57 minutes 26 seconds. Uh! what a relief. At least I stayed under 3 hours.

After The race

My recovery has astonished me. Two days after the race and am feeling like I can run another marathon next weekend.

With the 2009 Marathon gone I can’t wait for next year. 2010 I will have another opportunity to get a crack at it. 2.45 is my target.

StanChart Marathon Training Week 20 : Tapering

After 5 months of marathon training I finally did my last long run. It was a 37K run that took me over 3 hrs 15 minutes to finish. My initial plan was to do a 34K final run but when I got at the 17K turning point I was having so much fun and my inner voice said ¨Come on you are having so much fun, dont stop now” I guese it all started on Saturday, I spent the afternoon listening to the classic song ‘dont stop me now, am having such a good time’ by Queen

Am even thinking of making the song my official humming song when I run Stanchart marathon in two weeks time. Humming a song as you run can inspire you to run stronger and faster.

I had prepared well for this final run, I made sure I carried a bottle of water to keep me hydrated. Last year I finished my last run, cramping and feeling sore feet. I wasted a whole week without any training, recovering from the after effects.

Two days after the run am not feeling any negative reaction. Instead of the usual two days rest I have given myself an extra day of rest to ensure full rest and recovery.

My tapering plan is to do speed works to maintain (or even improve) my cardiovascular fitness.

How to Drink Water On The Run & Avoid Cramps

Drinking Water while you run seems to be something simple but it isn’t? Poor water drinking technique is one of the many causes of those painful stomach cramps that we suffer while running.

Runners on the run should drink water in gulps instead of sips! Well, that is according to Leslie Bonci, director of sports nutrition at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and a certified specialist in sports dietetics. In an interview in the New York Times this is what she had to say…..

How we drink can make a difference in how optimally we hydrate our body. A lot of people sip liquids, but gulping is better. Gulps of fluid leave the stomach more rapidly. It’s important to do this. It seems counterintuitive, it seems like gulping would cause a cramp. People are more likely to have stomach cramps sipping because fluid stays in their gut too long.

When you take more fluid in, gulps as opposed to sips, you have a greater volume of fluid in the stomach. That stimulates the activity of the stretch receptors in the stomach, which then increase intra-gastric pressure and promote faster emptying. This is why gulping is preferred.

Her idea is supported by Doctors. Negoianu and Goldfarb medical report about sipping in their “Just Add Water” editorial published in April 2008 in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology last year. Drs. G & N argue that water retention is variable, based on how quickly you are drinking. A glass downed in 15 minutes will be excreted. (What Bonci advocates for cramp prevention) A glass downed over 2 1/2 hours will be retained.

Somethings that we assume are simple are not!